This photo was taken on July 22, 2001. We had just left Syracuse after visiting my grandmother for the last time. She was in the final weeks of her second battle with cancer and I was so thankful she got to see her great-grandsons one more time. And I was blessed to be able to say goodbye to the woman who shaped me in so many ways and loved me so well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe stopped in NYC for the day on our way to my brother-in-law’s wedding in Putnam Valley. It was much happier occasion. What a strange trip—the end of one life, and the beginning of a new family.

Over the past 13 years so much has changed. Our family has grown up, stood tall against the winds of many trials, laughed a lot, cried more than we cared to, said goodbye to more family members and friends, and welcomed new ones along the way.

Personally, I’ve embraced my faith in ways I never imagined possible, and let go of bad habits, attitudes, relationships, and fears. I’ve watched my country change in ways that make me sad mostly, but I’ve learned that if I remain focused on Jesus, there is nothing in this world to fear or be anxious about.

My prayer is that the LORD would continue to mold me and draw me closer to Him each day, refine my heart, mind, and spirit, and give me peace. I can do nothing to change this world apart from what God would set before me.

Always remember…

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”
-C.S. Lewis